Think about it. Can anyone honestly say that s/he knows exactly how much debt the United States can handle? How can a person really prevent getting cancer? When and how will the Gulf of Mexico fully recover from the BP oil disaster? Can New Jersey's pervasive culture of corruption and power brokers ever really change? How should the WAR in Afghanistan be handled from here forward? When/how will unemployment levels recover? How can thousands of years of unrest in the Middle East truly change? What about the Taliban? Make your own list.
I attended a convention of a professional association this week and noticed that the audience didn't tolerate arrogance very well. When a speaker inferred "There is no reason you can't..." conference attendees looked down, began fiddling with their Blackberries, and stopped listening to the speaker. That is all it took. When a speaker bragged about how their business has been growing this year, the skeptical audience stopped listening. Maybe they "should have" been more motivated to hear what the speaker was doing differently to experience success, but they shut down. A dose of humility might have helped credibility and reception.
Somehow, the convention made me recall an experience I had a few years ago at a previous conference of this same association. A friend of mine had invited me to join her for lunch. She wanted to introduce me to her daughter, her son-in-law, and her new grandchild. The young couple was so taken with themselves that I just wanted the lunch to be over as quickly as possible. They were incredibly disrespectful of their mother, had no interest in who I am or what I do, did not make eye contact, and acted like they were the only people in the world who had smart children, meaningful jobs, and advanced education.
That lunch was in early 2008. Their careers were related to huge financial institutions. Most of us do not wish for bad things to happen to other people, but I do wonder. Wouldn't the world be a little better if these young people got a needed wakeup call and gained some humility?